Listen While Reading: From The Sun // Unknown Mortal Orchestra.
When you hear the word bohemian, what comes to mind? Perhaps you think of flowy skirts and wrap headbands, or maybe it’s girls with long tangled hair and paintbrushes. Those descriptions are true of what bohemians have been commercialized to be, but in reality, a bohemian is anyone who allows themselves to be freed from social norms, embracing their creativity and artistic style. A bohemian lifestyle is both freeing and beautiful, and it is certainly worth striving for. While I am nowhere near achieving the frame of mind and creative outlook I personally desire, incorporating bohemian vibes into my style, decor, mindset and life in general, has brought me closer to it and it has opened my eyes to things I had never thought of before.
“Going boho” however, isn’t always the easiest thing to do. It can take time and effort, and even a little sacrifice. So how do you channel your inner bohemian? Below are five distinct tips that have helped me; although I have not mastered them all yet, I hope you will find them helpful in your journey to a bohemian lifestyle.
Tip 1: It doesn’t take a lot of money
People often think that you need to be rich to look and feel good. I am firmly against that belief. Reality will tell you that it is far better to let go of your worries and financial concerns to live frugally than to spend loads of money on things that will only lead to dissatisfaction and more purchases. How can you expect to feel free and relaxed in a room full of clutter? How can you spend time enjoying yourself and utilizing your creativity if you are spending all your time with unnecessary purchases? While shopping and spending money can be enjoyable, stick to doing these things less frequently, only spending when you need to. Bills and expenses can’t be escaped, so take the necessary steps to pay for what you need, and let the rest of your spending be in moderation. That being said, you should not enslave yourself to saving money either. Find a balance between spending for your enjoyment, on things such as travel and food, while still saving enough money to keep you from worry.
Tip 2: Find an inspiration
Life isn’t a college paper, it’s perfectly acceptable to take someone else’s ideas and incorporate them into your own. People are beautiful and creative beings, so learn from them. One of my personal inspirations (inherited from my father’s list of inspirations) is James Dean. As my father has told me, James Dean was the first bohemian as we know bohemians today. From his unique acting style to his incredible apartment, James Dean inspires me to embrace my own unique qualities, and as cliche as it may sound, to never stop dreaming.
Tip 3: Embrace Thrifting
While the idea of wearing something second hand isn’t always ideal, I am definitely an antique store enthusiast, and a few of the pieces I really love are second hand. For some people, the idea of wearing other people’s old clothes isn’t pleasant, but I have learned to get past it, and just wash them! Besides how can you call yourself a bohemian if you are afraid of thrift stores? There is no point in spending a ton of money (refer back to tip 1) on something that you may only wear a dozen times anyways. If you can find that same piece for less than half the price at a thrift store, you should absolutely seize that opportunity and save the money. Thrift and antique stores are not only good for clothing finds, but they are full of beautiful and unique pieces of furniture as well. I have found some of my favorite furniture pieces at thrift stores over time, and I have saved a lot of money in the process.
Tip 4: Keep a Journal
Writing is an outlet for the soul. It doesn’t matter what you write about, or whether or not the writing is of a good quality. Writing for the sake of writing itself is a beautiful thing, and it allows you to release negative emotions and express your creativity. The majority of great people in history have written their thoughts on paper, and we know far more than we ever would have because of it. I have finally gotten into the habit of journaling daily, and it has made a significant difference in my personal creative journey. My journal is a major part of me, and I have enjoyed embellishing and decorating it with my own unique style.
Tip 5: Let it show in how you dress
As mentioned earlier, the bohemian style does not have to be characterized by long skirts and headbands. Instead, let your style be a reflection of your uniqueness, your inner being with all of your creative expressions and loves. Find an inspiration, yes, but then allow yourself to stray from that model and wear whatever makes you feel confident. A major part of being bohemian is freeing from social norms. What better way to that than in how you dress? Don’t worry about the latest trends, wear what fits you, and build on that.
Above are the five distinct tips that I have used on my journey to the bohemian lifestyle, but they don’t have to end at that. There are so many things that a person can do to expand their creative mindset and free themselves, and all it takes is some effort and maybe a little coffee. Never be afraid to embrace who you are. Take photographs of what you love, take an hour to sit silently and be still, sit in a coffee shop at seven AM and watch the people around you. The possibilities are endless, and they are yours; take hold of them now, and you cannot fail.
© 2015 Reef Magazine